How to Be a Successful Gaming Commentator & What to Talk
Brandon enjoys gaming and watching high-quality video game commentaries.
Get advice on making video game commentaries, plus ideas for what to talk about.
Photo by Maik Jonietz on Unsplash
Introduction to Commentating
If you're yet to create your first video game commentary, then you should start by considering the following: Video game commentaries aren't easy to make, and they can take up a lot of your time and effort with recording, editing, and choosing the right footage. The thing that separates a good commentator from a bad is the effort and passion they put into their commentaries.
If you're just interested in commentating for fame, money, or something to do in your spare time, maybe it isn't the thing for you. But if you're truly interested in commentating, then read the following tips and the list of 101 things to talk about!
1. Only Use the Best Quality Footage
High quality game play doesn't necessarily mean good resolution. Of course like any other video 720p or 1080p can really help with viewers although there is more than just resolution to assure quality.
If you don't know how to play a game it probably won't appeal to anyone. Nobody wants to see you go through a tutorial or not understand the basics of a game especially if they like the game you're playing. Make sure that you know how to play a game before you commentate on it. You'll be surprised how many people dislike poor game play.
You see competitions for good players not bad ones. This makes it evident that viewers are looking for people who are good and know what they are doing. Unless you're a comedic gamer and it adds to the quality of your video then assure you know what you're doing before you record or pre record your footage.
To record console gaming pick up a HDPVR. This will assure quality gaming and often times will attract viewers. You can pick up both a Hauppauge HD and Elgato Game Capture HD at Amazon.
2. Be Enthusiastic and Concise
Be enthusiastic when recording your videos. The one mistake a lot of starting commentators make is they're either too quiet or too loud. You're not trying to pop ear drums but you are trying to portray that you're seriously enthusiastic and passionate about playing and you deserve to play.
Most people will determine whether they want to watch a video or not within the first 30 seconds. There are many other determining factors but this is a big one, This means you have 30 seconds to wow them with content they haven't seen before, This being said don't put all your eggs in one basket and wow them right off the start then just go dull. An example of "Wow" Youtubers are Whiteboy7thst with his wonderful and extremely enthusiastic introductions.
Another factor people look at to determine whether or not they want to watch a video is time. If you're posting 45 minutes of uncut footage for your first video its not likely people are going to watch the whole thing. Keep your videos short, precise, and to the point. Have a topic and follow through until the end. Don't wing it. As you progress into becoming a more popular commentator ( it will happen if you work hard enough ) then you can start to upload specials or live stream.
101 Topics to Talk About in a Video Game CommentaryWhy you want to be a video game commentatorStories of work or schoolWhere you workCurrent Events ( Check out News websites for current events )Goals and ambitionsOther CommentatorsDo a duel com ( Gives you more to talk about )Thoughts and opinions on anything/everythingPeople you knowChildhood storiesWhere you want to be in 5 yearsYour inspirationWhat is your setupThings to expect from your future commentariesAsk Questions ( Helps you interact with people )Answer Questions ( Click here to read 101 Questions )Give advice on what/what not to doTalk about celebrities ( Be sure to do your research )Where you're fromDiscuss what you're doing in the gameHighlight/acknowledge your favorite part of the footage you are commentatingIf you're a funny person crack a jokeDiscuss consumer productsDo a face cam and discuss what you're wearing ( Very interactive )On a face came show things of importance to doTalk about sportsTalk about societyTroll other players ( This gets lots of attention )Holidays ( If any are up and coming or have just passed )Sing ( This may sound silly but it can be rather funny )Local serviceWhat you eatHow you got to where you areRelationshipsRelationship Advice ( This is a big one )How you got your in-game nameGaming Events ( PAX, RTX, COMICON, ETC )MLG CompetitionsLeague Play ( For the better gamers )Your friends and who you game withAwesome games you've playedHorrible games you would never play againMilestones for you videos/commentariesUpdates on your life (weekly, monthly, annually)Your kids/family (for the more mature gamers )Messages you received in your inbox ( Funny or threatening is always amusing )In game achievementsConsoles / The console warThoughts on productsReview your recording program, hardware, and other techTalk about what you do to edit your videosProblems you have with recordingGlitches / Exploits in the gameWhat you're using in the gameWho you're playing withWhat games people can expect from youStats and ranksClans/Groups you're apart ofOpinions on clans and groupsTalk about networks ( Machinima, IGN, etc )Tips, Tricks, TechniquesStrategic IdeasHow you carried your teamWhen you got the footage ( Live or recorded )Do a live commentary and talk about what's currently going onHobbiesMusical interestsBeat boxingProve your talents ( include clips )Talk about bigger commentators ( People will be interested )Whatever you're enthusiastic aboutSomething you have a passion from ( art, wood, etc )The best pizza in the worldRecipes ( Surprisingly interesting )Meet the demands of the commentsWho inspires youWho/what you despiseInteresting wordsIntriguing movies you have recently seenYour presence in social networking ( Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr )Introduce yourselfRant about anythingConnections you have ( Gaming companies )Illegal ActivitiesDrugs and opinion ( Will capture an audience )What kind of person you areBiographyComics/SuperheroesJunk food/Candy ( Don't eat during a commentary, its unprofessional )Montage of funny/amazing clips and talk about themTop 10's ( Huge presence on youtube )Host a contestCommon KnowledgeFun Facts ( About the game or not )Blog posts you've readIf people want to play with youHow to contact youPicturesPartyingLife in the dayAnything. Enthusiasm and being passionate is entertaining. There will always be someone interested you just have to find them!
You can also browse a trending news website for the internet's latest stories and news. This keeps your content informative and relevant.
The Popular Blue Yeti Microphone
3. Invest in Quality Audio
Audio quality is as cherished as good game play is. Seananners is a prime example of high quality audio. He cherishes high quality audio more than anything and personally I think that's great! Unless he is 100% sure that his content is to his best capabilities he wont post it. This is exactly how you should be.
Now I'm not saying you're going to be a professional recorder instantly. Learn your way around different mics, software, and other tech stuff before you truly invest into something. My personal recommendation is the Blue Snowball (Approx. $50) or the Blue Yeti (Approx. $130) if you're in commentating for the long run.
If not, you can get a microphone practically anywhere as a great start up tool until you acquire a solid income or can fund your own microphone.
4. Play Quality Games
It's also important to play games that are quality. Games that are quality include games with large fanbases such as Minecraft or Call of Duty. These games have no lack of audience and can be great to build channels. Then you can venture off onto games that are more fitting to your needs.
G2A offers the latest and popular games at discounted prices, so you don't have to spend ridiculous amounts of money to get the latest titles. New games offer great opportunities for new YouTube channels because good launches result in higher searches for your video.
5. Network and Partner Up
Networking is the act of socializing and partnering with another channel/person/network in order to acquire free advertising and promotions. This means you make a presence in their videos, on their channel, and other places providing you with publicity and you return the favor by doing the same. There are plenty of commentators out there who are looking for partners and friends to network with!
If you're looking for people to commentate with just search "First Commentary" anywhere and plenty of results will come up. These results will provide you with starting commentators (most likely just like you) who probably want the publicity as much as you do!
Determine whether or not commentating or promoting other people is helping you for the better.Some commentators personally believe that their better content is posted with their alone and that's just reality. If you think this is you I advice you to stay lone wolf. You need to understand its harder to promote your videos this way.
A really easy way to promote someone is by doing box for box. This means you promote another Youtuber in your "Featured Channels" section. This tool is handy because when you get followed a group of your "Featured Channels" shows up promoting channels more. This also works for you because it's a fair exchange.
6. Choose Your Base of Operation
Make sure that you have a nice quiet place to record and free time to do so. The more content the better and it will even get you more viewers! Think of advertising like the amount of videos you have. With more videos you have a higher chance of getting viewers.
None of this will come unless you have a place to record, the time to record/edit, and a console to play on consistently. If you don't have one of those components you should consider just being a recreational gamer with the occasional "How to" video about video games.
Once you have a place to record do it as much as possible! There is nothing better to do when you're starting out youtube besides uploading. I was at a point where I got 2 - 3 views per video but I learned that the more frequently I posted the more views I got. Eventually I hit an average of 200 - 500 viewers which was a real milestone. Now my views range from 3k - 10k and this took me nearly a year! With that in mind I am no longer a frequent youtuber.
Recording/Editing time is important and how much you dedicate to this part of making videos can really impact your views and fan base. The better the video the more followers!
Lastly you need to engage your audience. Whether its live streams or physically playing with your fans/viewers every little bit helps. Plus this is a great way to make new friends!
7. Don't Quit!
Having very few viewers and subscriber might bring you down. The way to persevere through this is by not quitting! Commentating can be extremely fun if you make it out to be that way so start of as a recreational commentator and progress into something greater.
If you quit you can never know whether or not you'll be the next big thing or maybe even a tad bit popular. Quitters never win! That's why you have to fight the odds and promote your videos, get your name out there, and engage with anyone who looks your way!
Instead of quitting try taking a break. Maybe if you post every day instead of having fun you're looking at commentating as a responsibility or a job. To keep having fun with commentating arrange a schedule of what you want to record and when. Maybe it's minecraft once a week or acheivement guides every other day. Whatever it is, just be sure to time it out properly.
People quit less when they know what they're doing. If you're not sure what you're doing there are tons of videos/guides (including this one) that can help you with anything you're having a problem with. Instead of quitting try to solve your problem.
At one point I quit and I thoroughly regretted it. Now I am back at commentating and its as fun as ever!
8. Share Your Content Around the Web
Forums, chat boards, game sites, and many other places are all great tools to share your video. You should refrain from posting your video in the comments of others although if you seriously think you have something to share then this may be a good way to promote your video!
Here are a few websites to share gaming commentaries:FacebookTwitterRedditGaming ForumsGameSpot
Don't expect to gain viewers without promoting your videos. You won't become famous overnight and it will take time. The more you post it the higher chance you have of someone seeing it. Plus if somebody likes your content they may look for more so to showcase your best content with playlists!
Post your commentary or leave a suggestion below!
amogh on July 23, 2020:
which is the best platform to ask viewers
to ask questions for QNA for youtube
Anthony on April 27, 2020:
I just want to say this is definitely one of the most informal, entertaining and educational articles I have ever laid my eyes on. I have never read something so helpful. Not only was it helpful but also inspiring and motivating. Thank you so very much for this. I run a channel with a little over 200 subscribers and I plan to pursue it by pushing myself and breaking through obstacles. I am also investing in equipment such as a pc and more. Once again, thank you very much. You have greatly helped me out as a small creator. I greatly appreciate your work here.
Amadious on November 05, 2018:
I'm very interested about this.
Richard on August 03, 2017:
I want to be in Minecraft
K Anirudhan on April 28, 2017:
wow article was cooland inspiring
Timotios Baye on October 21, 2016:
I have learend so many things.
Alexandre Reis on August 30, 2016:
Adobe premmier is cool for this kind of editing...
nxlgaming on June 23, 2016:
audio is a huge component a lot of people overlook! Good audio can make any video a hell of a lot better assuming the content they are talking about is interesting. dont be afraid to invest in tech that will improve your stuff, you can always repurpose it for other uses
zlos on June 15, 2016:
gameplay really isnt that important, also if anyone wants to know any good editing softwares sony vegas is easily the best
Stuart from Santa Barbara, CA on March 17, 2016:
Great article, if anyone is considering any type of good video softwares to work with.Just google it, Final Cut Pro is awesome, and there are others but I would need to research it to look them up.Personally, I'm a mac person so Final Cut Pro will be fine for me.Again, Great article - really sweet tips. Video and audio quality are seriously very important
beep on May 04, 2015:
You never talked about any good video softwares to edit with